Weekly Radio Report: 20120305

Mar 06, 2012 3:06 am
LPFM application window this fall
Paul Riismandel in Radio Survivor reports LPFM and translator stations are on the Federal Communications Commission's March 21 meeting agenda. The agency is expected to open a window for new applications for low-power stations around the country and in the Hudson Valley later this year. The agency is trying to first resolve the translator issue, as those stations have been gobbling up possible LPFM frequencies. The advocacy group Austin Airwaves expects up to 10,000 applications for low-power stations in the U.S., when a five-day window to apply is opened in September or October. Contact Prometheus Radio Project for more information about starting a low-power station in your neighborhood.

Dave Rabbit, famous pirate broadcaster, dies
Dave Rabbit, the GI disc jockey who headed Radio First Termer, a pirate radio station for troops in the Vietnam War, died Mon. Jan. 27. Listen to Dave Rabbit's air checks at http://radiofirsttermerrestoration.com/

Israelis shut down legal Palestinian broadcasts
Democracy Now! reports the Israeli military raided two Palestinian television stations in the occupied West Bank this week. "Employees of Watan TV and another station affiliated with Al-Quds University say Israeli troops seized broadcast equipment and computers in overnight raids. Israel says the stations were interfering with air traffic control frequencies, but Palestinians say Israel is committing blatant censorship," the story said. The Israeli's claim that the legal Palestinian broadcasts are going to crash airplanes. “Civil aviation waves, according to international parameters, start at 120 megahertz, while TV frequencies start at above 500 megahertz,” Suleiman Zuheiri, undersecretary of the Palestinian ministry of telecommunication in Ramallah, explained in a Maan News Agency story. This is often said about pirate radio broadcasters in the United States, and is false. There has never been a case of an airplane crashing because of a radio broadcast.

Massive farms of tiny antennas may bring television signals
Timothy B. Lee in Ars Technica reports that a coalition of major broadcasters are suing Aereo, a startup business that wants to offer New York residents television broadcasts streamed over the Internet. "Rather than capturing content with a single antenna, Aereo plans to have enough tiny physical antennas in its server room that each active user can be assigned his own personal antenna. Aereo claims it is effectively letting each customer use a 'remote TV' whose antenna just happens to be located far away from its screen," Lee writes, and the established broadcasters are challenging that business model. "Ars Technica asked Jimes Grimmelmann, a copyright scholar at New York Law School, to evaluate the case. While Grimmelmann thinks Aereo's convoluted business model wouldn't be necessary in a sane copyright system, he believes that the company has a good chance of winning in court," Lee writes. In 2008 a federal appeals court ruled that Cablevision did not infringe copyright when it created a "remote DVR" system where customers in their homes access Cablevision's DVR servers in a similar manner to Aereo's plan. "The court agreed, and its reasoning depended on the fact that Cablevision stored a separate physical copy of a program for each user who requested it, rather than storing a single copy and streaming that copy to every user," Lee writes.